Oklahoma's Record Rainfall Leaves Behind Breeding Bonanza For Mosquitoes
OKLAHOMA CITY - The rain has stopped and the mosquitoes have started. With all the standing water left behind by flooding and record rainfall, Oklahomans are getting their homes sprayed for mosquitoes and health departments are testing for West Nile.
Right now, bugs are big business for Mosquito Joe.
"It's absolutely out of control,” said Rich Anthony, owner of Mosquito Joe.
The mosquito spray company ended last year with 650 customers.
“We have actually hit 1,200 customers as of this last Friday and we are booking new customers every single day,” Anthony told News 9.
Anthony said the record rainfall is causing mosquitoes to breed where they should not be breeding.
“Mosquitoes normally only fly about five or six feet, they are flying up into the trees because it's so saturated,” Anthony said.
While mosquito companies are busy spraying homes and properties, News 9 learned the Oklahoma City-County Health Department does not spray for mosquitoes like some other counties do
“We are taking a very long term approach by teaching people as far as the best way to handle the properties themselves,” said Justin Asberry, Public Health Specialist with the Oklahoma City County Health Department.
The health department is trying to educate people about draining standing water and using insect repellant to "Fight the Bite." However, the agency does take complaints and investigates when someone reports standing water.
“This is the perfect season for them to breed. It's the great weather,” Asberry explained. “There will be stagnant water because it hasn't been dried up quickly by the sun.”
The health department tries to encourage owners to fix the problem on their own, but the agency can use larvicides that dissolve in water if needed.
Also, Oklahoma City-County Health Department just started testing mosquitoes for West Nile Virus and the first batch came back negative.
If you want to file a complaint or have a question about mosquitoes, call the Oklahoma City County Health Department at (405) 425-4347.